"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK TWO PICKS

Last Week: 32 - 0  100.0%
Overall:      32 - 0  100.0%

After an awesome and competitive first weekend, colleges give way to the NFL.  There are no matchups between top twenty five teams, setting the stage for another big week for my picks. But upsets are lurking and I'm sure there will be a few this weekend. There are some games pitting Big Five conference teams and a smattering of league skirmishes to make the weekend interesting, especially with a game being played at NASCAR track.

Friday:

(13) Louisville (1 - 0) 27 @ Syracuse (1-0) 21: After Houston's win over Oklahoma, Louisville might be best known now as the "other big game" for the Cougars. However, that game is ten weeks away, so the Cardinals need to get ready for a Syracuse team that is looking to improve in 2016.

Saturday:

Central Michigan (1 - 0) 20 @ (22) Oklahoma State (1 - 0) 26: The Chippewas gave Oklahoma State a good game last year, but that one was at home. I'm a MAC fan, but despite a lot of talent returning on defense, I think the Cowboys just have too much talent to be upset in Stillwater. I think this one will be closer than most think.

Penn State (1 - 0) 24 @ Pittsburgh (1 - 0) 27: Neither team is ranked, but these two schools renew a series that was discontinued when they both joined conferences. I spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh for the US Open and can attest to the excitement around this game. I'm giving the edge, especially on defense, to the home team.


NC State (1 - 0) 30 @ ECU (1 - 0) 27: I'm tempted to go with the Pirates here, especially given the red headed step child emotion they bring to these games against teams that have what they want: Membership in a power five conference. But a lack of returners on defense and running back concern me.

UCF (1 - 0) 13 @ (5) Michigan (1 - 0) 42: Central Florida did something last week they'd failed to do since 2014: win a football game. Okay, it was against FCS South Carolina State, but they still outscored another team. I'm thinking the winning streak stops at one.

Lamar (0 - 1)  10 @ (6) Houston (1 - 0) 51: The schedule is kind to Houston, as they can probably afford a letdown after the big win over Oklahoma and still defeat FCS Lamar.

Nicholls State (0 - 0) 6 @ (9) Georgia (1 - 0) 40: Where do they find these patsies to play?

Prarie View (1 - 0) 14 @ (20) Texas A&M (1 - 0) 30: The Aggies got into the rankings after beating UCLA and should stay there for at least another week before beginning conference play.

Charleston Southern (1 - 1) 13 @ (3) Florida State (1 - 0) 47: And the rompfest continues against FCS schools.

Troy (1 - 0) 10 @ (2) Clemson (1 - 0) 38: Troy has had better teams in the past and has given power five teams some problems, but after a 4 - 8 season, they should have some issues with Clemson. I wouldn't be surprised if the Tigers had a letdown, but Deshaun Watson isn't getting worse after last week.

Tulsa (1 - 0) 13 @ (4) Ohio State (1 - 0) 44: Tulsa shouldn't pose much of a threat to Ohio State. The Buckeyes are just too good and too deep for the Golden Hurricanes.

Akron (1 - 0) 17 @ (10) Wisconsin (1 - 0) 28: The Badgers need to refocus after a big win over LSU. The Zips are coached by former Auburn coach Terry Bowden and his defensive coordinator, Chuck Amato had the same job for Bowden's father at Florida State. But after going 8 - 5 last season, the Zips lost their entire offensive line.

Nevada (1 - 0) 16 @ (18) Notre Dame (1 - 0) 37: The Irish have decided to stick with one starting quarterback until, well, they don't. After a tough loss in overtime to Texas, Notre Dame is looking to rebound at home against an experienced Wolfpack team.

Kentucky (0 - 1) 24 @ Florida (1 - 0) 20: Florida wasn't particularly impressive last week, but at least they won, which is more than can be said for Kentucky, which blew a 35 - 10 lead in losing 44 - 35 to Southern Miss. But the Golden Eagles are an offensive juggernaut. I'm still not sold on the Gators. I smell upset here.

Western Kentucky (1 - 0) 27 @ (1) Alabama (1 - 0) 45: Is Alabama a juggernaut or is USC just a mess?  Western Kentucky was 12 - 2 last season and romped over Rice 46 - 14 in week one. The Tide better not get caught in letdown mode or they could get surprised.

 SMU (1 - 0) 16 @ (23) Baylor (1 - 0) 38:SMU was only 2 - 10 last year, but opened with a win against North Texas. Any optimism will probably be blunted by the Bears, but both programs are tainted by recent scandal.

Wofford (1 - 0) 14 @ (19) Ole Miss (0 - 1) 51: After blowing a big lead against FSU, the Rebels will be looking to take it out on FCS Wofford. This one could get ugly.

Idaho (1 - 0) 9 @ (8) Washington (1 - 0) 48: I'm not quite sure how Idaho is in the Sun Belt, but maybe I'm not familiar with "new geography". Anyway, the Vandals will wish they were on the Redneck Riviera after the Huskies finish with them.

Florida Atlantic (1 - 0) 13 @ (25) Miami (1 - 0) 45: The Hurricanes are poised for a resurgence under Mark Richt. The 'Canes defeated FAU 44 - 20 a year ago and I don't see much reason to expect a much different result this time around.

La. Monroe (1 - 0) 6 @ (14) Oklahoma (0 - 1) 54: The Sooners were thumped by Houston last week and get to lick their wounds against a team that went 2 - 11 last year. Bad luck for the Warhawks, because I doubt OU will take their foot off the gas.

UTEP (1 - 0) 16 @ (11) Texas (1 - 0) 31: Texas will be on a high after slipping by Notre Dame last week. The Miners  return 17 starters from a 5 - 7 team, so they should be enough of a challenge that the 'Horns need to pay attention.

South Carolina (1 - 0) 17 @ Mississippi State (0 - 1) 23: The Gamecocks won ugly against Vandy last week and Mississippi State was surprised by South Alabama. This is a close one, but despite the bad loss, I like the Bulldogs to take care of business in Starkville.

Arkansas (1 - 0) 31 @ (15) TCU 28: Neither team was impressive in getting a win in week one. TCU's defense was exposed by a good FCS team, while Arkansas' new QB Austin Allen struggled against a pretty good La. Tech squad. A partial homer pick, I'll take the Hogs to get a victory and enter the national conversation.

Arkansas State (0 - 1) 16 @ Auburn (0 - 1) 27: Auburn gave Clemson all they could handle a week ago, which should give Tiger fans some optimism. But even after a loss to Toledo, Arkansas State is a dangerous team.

Iowa State (0 - 1) 6 @ (16) Iowa (1 - 0) 37: This is a rivalry game, but it's getting tougher to call it that when the Cyclones have had a tough few years. Iowa is way better than they're ranking and they'll roll in this one.

BYU (1 - 0) 23 @ Utah (1 - 0) 20: Utah wasn't particularly impressive in a win over FCS Southern Utah while BYU won in the closing seconds against Arizona. Logic says to go with Utah, but I'm taking BYU in an upset.

Jacksonville State (1 - 0) 13 @ (21) LSU (0 - 1) 41: LSU head coach Les Miles is on the hot seat after a lackluster offensive effort in a loss to Wisconsin. The Bayou Bengal faithful will enjoy this one, with Leonard Fournette probably running wild.

North Carolina (0 - 1) 30 @ Illinois (1 - 0) 21: North Carolina was hoping to get a statement win last week against Georgia. That didn't happen and now they face a must win situation at Illinois. The Tar Heels are the better team and should prevail.

UNLV (1 - 0) 10 @ UCLA (0 - 1) 34: The Bruins lost a heartbreaker at Texas A&M and return home to face a team they should handle easily. QB Josh Rosen will bounce back against the Rebels.

Virginia Tech (1 - 0) 24 vs. (13) Tennesseee (1 - 0) 16 (Bristol Motor Speedway): What a spectacle this one will be in front of over 150,000 fans on an artificial surface in the infield of the famed race track. Tennessee was underwhelming in barely beating Appalachian State while the Hokies throttled FCS Liberty, but failed to impress offensively. I'm a Hokie and will stick with my heart and Bud Foster's defense.

Washington State (0 - 1) 37 @ Boise State (1 - 0) 40: Washington State was my darkhorse pick for the 2016 season but got beaten by FCS Eastern Washington. I hate to abandon my pick early, but Boise State is tough to beat on that blue turf.

Virginia (0 - 1) 17 @ (24) Oregon (1 - 0) 51:Virginia is possibly the most disappointing power five conference team. Since 2007, the Cavs are 34 - 61 with one winning season and a single bowl appearance. It was hoped that Bronco Mendenhall would turn things around, but FCS Richmond pounded them 37 - 20. It won't be pretty in Eugene.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" at  Amazon.com and listen to me Friday's at 8:40 am EDT/ 7:40 am CDT on Lou in the Morning, streaming live on www.WPFLradio.com, 105.1 FM. I can also be reached via email at kevin@pkfrazier.com.